The Wall Street Journal talks to Eugene Lemay of Moishe’s Moving which has opened a Jersey City, NJ facility, Mana Contemporary, that combines an arts center with a storage facility. They’re also getting help from artist Yigal Ozeri to populate the space:
In its first phase, Mana Contemporary has filled 23 studios with established artists who already have gallery representation. The average studio is about 2,000 square feet, for which artists pay a $2-per-square-foot monthly rent. […]
[F]or Mr. Lemay, developing a full-service arts center is a way to avoid becoming just “another moving company that specializes in art.”
It’s also a way to grab new business: Create a home for working artists and a place where collectors can attend lectures, gallery openings and studio visits, and perhaps those collectors will become patrons for art-storage and management services as well.
“You can’t get to collectors. They hide,” Mr. Lemay said. “You can’t knock on someone’s door and say, ‘Hello, I know you’re a collector, can I store your art?’ So how do you get them? One way was we create artists’ studios here. We had artists bring their collectors. Let them see what they do here.”
Mana Contemporary, named after Moishe’s founder, is already Jersey City’s largest arts center. It is currently accessible to visitors by appointment only, and will officially open in March. Mr. Lemay said it has already cost between $4 million and $6 million to transform the 500,000-square-foot space.
Moishe’s Moves Into the Arts (Wall Street Journal)